Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Say NO to Toe Grabs - NOT worth the risk at any length.....

Look at the magnificent motion of these thoroughbreds.

Anatomically, the horse doesn't pull from the front legs --
he pushes from behind.

A hoof strikes the ground with 5,000 pounds of pressure on a bone the size of your wrist.
Steve Wood, superintendent of Del Mar's dirt track.

So WHY, WHY. WHY are American trainers, farriers and horseshoe manufacturers continuing to damage our beautiful thoroughbreds by installing toe grabs into shoes and affixing them to the feet of horses?
UR Stable will not allow toe grabs on any of its racing stock. Empirical evidence exists proving increased risk and the damages caused by using toe grabs on racehorses. 

I have personally seen way too many injuries directly associated with the use of toe grabs. 

Here is a list of TOE GRAB facts that every horse owner, trainer, FARRIER, partner, caregiver and horseshoe manufacturer should be FULLY aware of ....

FATAL musculoskeletal injuries have a 1.8 higher chance of occurring with a low toe grab than with a Queen's Plate [no toe grab horseshoe], that nearly doubles to 3.5 with a regular toe grab.

There is a 6.5 greater chance of having a suspensory apparatus failure
with a low toe than there is with a Queen's Plate,
 and that more than doubles to 15.6 with a regular toe grab.

Cannon bone condylar fractures are seven times more likely to happen with a low toe grab than with a Queen's Plate and it nearly triples to 17.1 with a regular toe grab read more

EIGHT BELLES, who broke both front legs after finishing 2nd in the 2008 Kentucky Derby WAS WEARING TOE GRABS --
no one will admit to the size.

Photo: Grayson-Jockey Club

Chris McCarron, along with several other riders including Gary Stevens and Steve Cauthen, have testified that, "toe grabs are the single biggest reason why horses fall when they clip heels."

With all this evidence, I am surprised we haven't had a class-action lawsuit over the damages caused to horses wearing toes grabs. There is no warning on the side of the shoe box, and what choice does the horse have in the matter?

In my lifetime, I have watched horses win 1000s of races without toe grabs -- just look at all the shoes in the Hall of Fame --

The reality is, that toe grabs can do a lot more damage to a horse than myriad of other things that are policed around the racetrack.

For me, running any horse in toe grabs is simply not an option.


1 comment:

Brian Appleton said...

Great article! I have to admit I was completely ignorant as to the adverse effects of Toe Grabs. The picture says it all, it's just an accident waiting to happen.

Thank you for a very informative and eye-opening post!